Office Survival Tip: Setting Priorities

2 Dec

Office Survival Tip: Setting Priorities

Usually people set their work priorities according to whatever they think their job requirements entail. Unless you’re an Under Achiever; then your priorities follow whatever your current whim is (napping, crosswording, drawing cartoons of your coworkers as sharks, etc). 

Everyone is going to have a different idea of what your priorities should be. That’s because everyone believes your priorities should support their own priorities. Which is rubbish. Unless they’re your boss. Then it’s reality.

This will probably lead you to do some very unproductive things. Like spending inordinate amounts of time jazzing up PowerPoint presentations, or regularly condensing everything you’re working on into short, easy to understand sentences so your boss can reiterate it to his higher ups. 

This is a reality of Office Life: your bosses priorities > your perceived job priorities

I say perceived job priorities because any outstanding boss will tell you his priorities ARE your priorities, you just haven’t perceived them that way yet. I know this is getting a little heavy but bear with me. 

If you think about it, your perceived job description probably includes all kinds of inane, pointless tasks. Therefore, when you align your priorities with your boss’s priorities, it’s really just a matter of swapping one stupid task with another.  So! Next time your boss asks you to create a color coded map of the empty cubicles in your office, just smile, accept it, and remind him that means you probably won’t get to sorting your supplier location list by degrees of longitude this week.

Author’s Note: I really struggled with this illustration because part of me vaguely remembers, in the back of my mind, that sharks might not have eyelids. Therefore I had a very hard time drawing one napping with his beady little eyes closed. I tried it with his eyes open, but it just didn’t give off “sleep” vibes (even when I added Zzzz’s). Originally I was going to post the picture and hope no one called me out, but my neurosis got the best of me and I had to say something. The whole thing is silly though, I don’t know why my sharks having eyelids bothers me but them walking around wearing little office shirts is perfectly acceptable.


14 Responses to “Office Survival Tip: Setting Priorities”

  1. Rob Rubin December 2, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    My priority is editing my next post while the boss isn’t looking so that one day I can free myself from the bondage that is my cube and realize my dream of becoming a rodeo clown.

    Rob, the mainland

    • sharkables December 2, 2011 at 10:18 am #

      Noble pursuit! Editing blog posts is a great way to look productive at work since editing involves typing and typing = productive.

  2. Darlene Steelman December 2, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    I seriously want to print out mass quantities of this post and put them all over the office where my ass will be planted in less than two hours.

    I, like Rob, edit posts when my boss isn’t looking! He yells a lot so I don’t take him very serious. Annnd.. he does this head shake thing while saying, “really?”


    p.s. love the illustration.

    • sharkables December 2, 2011 at 10:39 am #

      Feel free!

      Don’t you just love the filler phrases bosses use when they want to seem like they’re paying attention?

  3. Cap'n Stephel December 2, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    ::takes notes::

    • sharkables December 3, 2011 at 7:15 am #

      I suggest using color coded note-cards for easy review

  4. Fred Wanner December 2, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    You are wise beyond your years.

    • sharkables December 3, 2011 at 7:12 am #

      Wise-ass beyond my years maybe, but thanks!

  5. isamomo December 3, 2011 at 5:24 am #

    In my company we have a lot of elder people … their priority is to know and take bets at who’s going to retire first. … saw my boss gambling with them last week about retiring one month earlier. Would love to have the same prios.

    BTW: Love how the drool’s dripping into the shark’s gills 😀

    • sharkables December 3, 2011 at 7:06 am #

      Haha I didn’t even notice that. I bet it would be disgusting to drool into your own gills though…kind of akin to choking on your own spit. But maybe I’m thinking into it too much.

  6. Rob Rubin December 5, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    Lol. Very true and appropriate for today. The past few weeks Ive either been going out for lunch or bringing in a salad. But in the spirit of holiday laziness I decided to bring in one of those frozen sodium-rich bowl thingies. I’ll make sure I follow the rules stated here since I’m fairy new to the world of processed lunch.

    Rob, The Mainland

    • Rob Rubin December 5, 2011 at 7:34 am #

      Damn iPhone. This was meant for todays post.

      • sharkables December 7, 2011 at 8:19 am #

        I thought about deleting this for you, but decided to keep it up as a warning for hasty iphone use, which had been the source of a number of regrettable text messages for me personally.

        You’re welcome readers, for this valuable public service announcement.

  7. Ashok Kumar December 15, 2011 at 1:34 am #

    drawing cartoons of your coworkers as sharks, lol

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